*waves to Nick’s co-workers*

This week has been weird.  We’re using the laptop for all our computer needs, but it’s not our regular computer, so it has none of the nicities that our old one did, so we’re back to basics and little things like links & saved files are not to be found and it’s quite maddening.

David and Ben have both been acting up at school this week.  My mom attributes it to the Wii and the loss-of-Wii that’s gone on, but I don’t know.  Ben’s becoming a little chatterbox.  He can’t keep quiet.  Not ever.  David’s been sullen and rude to everyone.  He’s not paying attention to directions at all.

So we’ve devised a new schedule to help with things.  First off: no TV after school unless it’s been earned.  Ways to earn TV include: helping out around the house without yelling or sulking, being nice to your sibling without being asked to be, etc.  First we have snacks (because when we’re hungry, we’re cranky), then we go outside and have play time.  After a half hour (because every kids needs an hour of exercise a day, so says the government), we head inside for some cool-down & reading.  Then there’s the part of the schedule that’s designed to help me to remember to sign David’s folder and ask about homework.  If there’s no school-assigned homework, there’re always Bible verses & songs to learn for both churches as well as Cub Scout stuff & sign language to work on.  After homework, there’s 15 minutes to half-hour of “free play” where I leave them to their own devices (and get my own housework done).  Then, just before Nick comes home for the day, we tidy up all our messes so we’re all ready for dinner.

The younger kids and I also have a new daily schedule, but it varies by day and is way too complicated to try to tell about here.  Basically, instead of the massive amounts of TV we got used to watching while the house was under construction & then during my bout of pneumonia, we’re going without TV during the day as well.  Our new schedule includes exercise, art, music, reading, and free play.  I don’t have thematically planned days like I did last summer quite yet, but I’m working towards that.

We also finally had a playdate with someone.  We’d had a run of bad luck with playdates & lunches (for me with friends) the last several weeks where either I had sick kids or the other kids were sick or my friends got called into unexpected meetings for work or kids school.  But finally!  A playdate where there were kids the same age as both my kids!  We’ve got two more scheduled for next week–here, at the house.  Insanity, I know.  (All three of these are with new-ish friends, as it seems that all our old playdate friends have either a) already moved or b) are in the process of moving.  )

In other news, I’m still reading.  I know I haven’t posted about that lately, but I’m wishy-washy about what I’m reading lately and I’ve got about six books going right now.  I just finished Summers at Auburn Castle by Sharon Shinn and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Currently reading: Mozart’s Sister by Rita Charbonnier, Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, my book for Bible study, my chronological Bible, Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” (probably one should be: don’t read 6 books at once), and Songs from Distant Earth (because ACC died a couple weeks ago).  I think of them this way: the couch book, the car book, the bathroom book, the Other Bathroom book, the homework books, and the book by the bed.  You can guess which book is where.  Go on, I know you want to.

I’m sure there’s other stuff I’m forgetting, but what?  No idea.  What do you want to hear about?